Perhaps a sign of things to come, but one of the biggest UFC pay-per-view events in a long time will be headlined by a non-title fight.
An East Coast-West Coast battle between No. 3 ranked welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal and No. 6 Nate Diaz will top UFC 244 on Sunday 3 November (Asia time), the promotion’s 500th event.
Among the most popular athletes on the UFC roster, Diaz (21-11) returned from a three-year hiatus in August by securing a thrilling win over Anthony Pettis.
Diaz has also picked up incredible victories against Michael Johnson, Gray Maynard, Jim Miller and Takanori Gomi. He now hopes to keep his momentum going and enter the welterweight top five.
Masvidal (34-13) etched his name in the UFC history books for fastest knockout after executing a stunning flying knee against previously undefeated Ben Askren.
The 16-year veteran has also delivered unforgettable knockouts against Darren Till, Donald Cerrone, Jake Ellenberger and Cezar Ferreira. Masvidal now aims to deliver another sensational finish in the biggest fight of his career.
Former welterweight title challenger Darren Till (17-2-1) is set to test the waters in the ultra-competitive middleweight division against the Ultimate Fighter season 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum (16-4).
Throughout his UFC stint, Gastelum has netted impressive wins against Jacare Souza, Michael Bisping and Tim Kennedy. He now hopes to re-assert himself as a 185-pound title threat.
Till earned wins over Stephen Thompson, Donald Cerrone and Jessin Ayari and will now look to make his mark at 185 pounds.
Additional UFC 244 bouts include:
Nate Diaz vs. Jorge Masvidal
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Darren Till
Derrick Lewis vs Blagoy Ivanov
Corey Anderson vs. Johnny Walker
Stephen Thompson vs. Vicente Luque
Katlyn Chookagian vs. Jennifer Maia
Andrei Arlovski vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik
Julio Arce vs. Hakeem Dawodu
Krzysztof Jotko vs. Edmen Shahbazyan
Lyman Good vs. Chance Rencountre